The Vancouver Canucks are coming off a loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs which means thousands of fans have been relegated to lifeless forms of depression. Fortunately, the Canucks have a chance to redeem themselves against another Eastern Canada rival: the Montreal Canadiens.
Game Time: 4:30 pm
TV: Sportsnet Pacific
The Canucks are coming into Montreal at the worst possible time. While Montreal is off to a scorching start (even without Carey Price), the Canucks are stumbling through their longest road trip of the season and barely hanging on against some of the league’s most beatable teams.
The Canadiens are currently battling it out with the New York Rangers for first in the Eastern Conference so it’s not going to get any easier for Vancouver. Also, they will have to contend with former Canuck Dale Weise who has somehow already scored eight goals this season.
Thankfully, the end is near for the road-weary Canucks as they only have one more road game after Montreal (against the Winnipeg Jets) before returning home to the friendly confines of Rogers Arena to face the…Chicago Blackhawks?!
Aw come on!!!!!
1. Who Saw This Coming?
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) November 15, 2015
I think the following is the only way to describe this lineup:
Combined with the new lines, this is basically Kraft Hockeyville except the Sedins are allowed to come https://t.co/9MqZ56H3F3
— ¡Viva La Sedinery! (@Vivalasedinery) November 15, 2015
I guess the humorous part about this current lineup is that it has forced Willie Desjardins to rely more heavily on his young kids than he would probably prefer.
As we’ve see over the past couple of games, with a lineup this young, we will have to live with the mistakes and boy have their been some doozies.
But, as tragic as these mistakes can be, it’s not like the rest of the team isn’t making them. Plus, the young guys don’t look out of place.
2. Unleash Hunter Shinkaruk
shinkaruk skating with cracknell and dorsett
— Jason Botchford (@botchford) November 15, 2015
Trying to understand Willie Desjardins’ thought process when he is building his lineup could probably qualify as full-credit undergraduate psychology class at any Canadian University.
Yep, $1000.00 well spent.
Anyways, it appears as if Shinkaruk will probably be making his debut after it was revealed that Alex Burrows has returned to Vancouver for “personal reasons”.
Coach Willie Desjardins says Sutter is close to playing. Burrows returned to Vancouver for personal reasons. "It's a good thing" #Canucks
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) November 15, 2015
If Shinkaruk does make it into the lineup for Monday’s tilt against the Canadiens, it looks like he’ll be getter the traditional hazing that every rookie gets in their first few games in the blue and green. And by that, I mean having to grind it out on the fourth line with Derek Dorsett and whoever happens to be there.
Of course, I would have preferred to see Shinkaruk put into a position where he can play to his strengths (especially considering the reason that he was called up was because of his goal scoring), but considering that management’s mandate for young players is that they have to play defence into order to be on this team, it’s not the least bit surprising that Shinkaruk is starting where he is.
Hopefully he adapts quickly or he’ll be back in Utica.
*Update: he’s playing
3. What Happened to Alex Edler?
Most of the team seems a bit out of whack these days, but the player that has been the most frustrating is Alex Edler, who looks likes like he needs a major hug in a bad way.
For some reason, Edler has reverted back to playing like he did under John Tortorella. Ironically, this seems to have all started when the Canucks were recently in Columbus where Tortorella somehow got a job.
Mistakes are going to happen and maybe it seems worse than it is because Edler’s mistakes are of the massive variety.
I mean, they are horrific.
But what has bothered me the most about Edler’s play is that he doesn’t seem interested. We’ve all come to expect Alex Edler to have good nights and bad nights, but even on the bad nights he at least looks engaged. Lately, there doesn’t seem to be an iota of urgency to his game. Especially on the power play when he is gingerly moving the puck up the ice, allowing the opposition to create a wall of defenders and preventing any possibility of setting up in the offensive zone.
Jacob Markstrom is expected to get the start in net, giving Ryan Miller a rare night off.
Burrows flew back to Vancouver for personal reasons, but you know he’d love to fly back for a game in his hometown. If he can’t play, Hunter Shinkaruk will get to make his debut at the Bell Centre.
No pressure kid…
*Update: Shinkaruk and Markstrom are in
No Burrows or Sutter tonight. Markstrom starts. Prust and Sbisa still need some skates with group. Shinkaruk will make NHL debut. #Canucks
— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) November 16, 2015
*Another Update: And now we know what Burrows’ personal reasons are…
Congratulations to the Burrows family on the birth of their baby boy, Jacob!
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) November 16, 2015
|D. Sedin||H. Sedin||Hansen|
I’m usually overly optimistic in my predictions as evidenced by my terrible record this season.
I can’t imagine a road game against the Montreal Canadiens will go too well, so I’m going to say that the Canucks will unfortunately lose by a score of 4-2 with Hunter Shinkaruk maybe getting six minutes of ice time.